SAP S/4HANA Cloud Key User Extensibility – Introduction to Custom Business Objects – Part 1

Target Audience – Key Users of SAP S/4HANA Cloud and Developers

Blog applicability – SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1702, SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1705 and SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1708

In some of my previous blogs on the topic of Key User Extensions, I introduced you to the concept of extensions in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud and how we can add new custom fields or add new custom business logic. In this blog series, we will go a step further and we will see how to use another key user tool in SAP S/4HANA Extensibility called as – Custom Business Objects.

Pre-requisite – It is important to note that if you are the key user, the role Business Catalog – SAP_CORE_BC_EXT is assigned to you user. Once this assigned, you would get the set of tiles including the tile for creating custom business objects.

Business Catalog SAP_CORE_BC_EXT can be assigned through the Identity and Access Management tile in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Launchpad

This catalog can be found under Tile – Business Catalog

You can search for the available Business Roles that must be assigned to the respective Key User so that the S/4HANA Cloud Web based Extensibility tools are available to him/her. The Identity and Access Management apps helps your business users to have secure access to the S/4HANA Cloud solution.

Understanding the Custom Business Object

In simple words, custom business object is nothing but a database table. Imagine a scenario, where you are a cloud customer and you have a requirement to create custom database table for storing some data or use the database for running through some business logic where you want to refer the values in the database table and then perform certain action. It is important to note that as a cloud customer you would not have access to SE11 (Data Dictionary). This is one of the reason why SAP introduced this tile where you can create custom database table.

Also, creating a custom business object just does not create a simple database table. You can also create hierarchical database tables and it also allows you to have many other possibilities like creating a custom maintenance UI (equivalent to SM30 on On-Premise system), OData service so that you can also maintain the values from outside the S/4HANA Cloud environment. See the below figure which will give you more insight into the various capabilities offered by this tile.

Let’s understand each of the components of the business object one-by-one and its relevance to using the same for custom requirement.

Starting first, as we know by now, using the tile ‘Custom Business Object’ will enable you to create a custom (hierarchical) database table. Once you are done with the first step and defined a new custom business object, you would notice all other options like – Determination and Validation, UI Generation, Service Generation etc. will be enabled for you.

As you notice from the above figure, it starts with the first node of the business object, which is nothing but a structure that has set of fields defined. In addition, you can have further sub-nodes or child nodes that are structures with a set of fields. As we see in the figure above, the first node in the custom business object is – ‘Performance’ and then it has further sub-node ‘Actors’ and ‘Actors’ will have some set of fields.

Also, note that, the node ‘Performance’ too would have some set of fields. The following screen shot is from the actual custom business object.

Let’s us now understand the various components of the custom business object.

Determination and Validation – can be used to implement the logic in which you want to do something when the business object node instance is created, edited and saved. In addition, this can also be used to do validation and display error messages. Please note that before you can use this option, the custom business object must be in published state

UI Generation – Checking this checkbox will generate a maintenance UI (akin to SM30 in On-Premise). You would need this UI to maintain the field values in the custom business object. Also, to provide this UI to the users for maintenance, you would need to assign it to the custom catalog. Once the UI is assigned it will appear as a tile in the users Fiori Launchpad

Service Generation – check this flag in case you would like to maintain the custom business object from outside. Selecting this checkbox will generate an OData API that can be consumed from SAP S/4HANA Cloud system. Once the API is generated you can set up the communication arrangement (we will learn more about this in next blogs) and then generate a new Fiori UI using SAP Web IDE. With this you can achieve CRUD operation from external source

Go to Generated UI – This link will be enabled, once the custom business object is completely published and backend assets are also generated properly. Clicking this link will open up the maintenance UI where you can store values

Maintain Catalog – Use this link to create a tile and assign the application to the catalog. Once done the catalog can be assigned to the user and the maintenance UI will appear as a tile on the user’s Fiori Launchpad

 

Congratulations you have successfully understood the basics of custom business objects in SAP S/4HAHA Cloud!

Rohit Khan, S/4HANA Regional Implementation Group

 

For any clarification or support, feel free to reach rohit.khan@sap.com

 

Link to Part 2 of this blog series can be accessed from here –

SAP S/4HANA Cloud Key User Extensibility – Custom business object – Creating Code List Values – Part 2

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